In the final installment of Petra and Jamie’s Tasmanian Adventure they visit Cradle Mountain, Peppers Lodge and camp for a final time in Devonport. For the full adventure start at Part One with the trip down to Tasmania, or check out Part Two, Part Three or Part Four to catch up.
It was with a sad heart we left Jo and Chris behind on Christmas Eve. However our excitement rose shortly after as it was time for the trip down to Cradle Mountain.
This was the only accommodation I had pre-booked and I was looking forward to surprising Jamie. We both craved a Christmas in the cold and not needing to cook or entertain but instead indulge in an iconic wilderness escape.
So I had told him we were having a extreme ‘glamping’ set-up for the night, even firewood would be provided, little did he know that it was a cabin with spa bath and a three-course five-star dinner.
So we left Hobart on the National Hwy A1 passing Kempton, Bothwell and the stunning Great Lake into the Liffey Forest Reserve. We took a quick stop at the Steppes Sculptures, a circular formation of 12 large stone plinths each housing a bronze sculpture which where donated to the lovers of the highlands of Tasmania by sculptor Stephen Walker.
The Great Lake is a natural lake with a man made reservoir fed by the Pine Rivulet and Breton Rivulet and is 1030 m above sea level. The nearest towns of Liaweenee and Miena are cute shack villages of the central highlands of Tasmania and one of the coldest places.
We rode through the delightful riverside town of Deloraine and continued via the Mole Creek area, Liena and Solomon Caves to Cradle Mountain. We witnessed the pristine scenery riding along Cradle Mountain Road, a diverse and breath taking landscape with its colourful yellows, reds and orange and the visible jagged contour of Cradle Mountain on the horizon.
Surprise hit Jamie on arrival when we checked in at Peppers Lodge and rode to our secluded villa. We unpacked and enjoyed a drink at the pub after indulging in the spa for a little bit. We also took a walk, admiring the flora and fauna and the park’s natural highlights. Not to forget those ever so cute wombats everywhere.
To Jamie’s surprise we were also booked into the Highland Restaurant to indulge in a three-course meal, accompanied by a suitable drop of wine, right in front of the fireplace.
The entrée was fresh Tasmanian oysters, soya, chilli and ginger or pepper, berry and gin cured ocean trout with beetroot foam and citrus crème fraiche.
For mains we were treated to Scottsdale pork belly with Tasmanian scallops, apple remoulade or beef fillet with truffle mash, buttered asparagus, blackened garlic. When it came to dessert it was coconut panna cotta with pistachio sponge and moss, or saffron and vanilla crema catalana with almond biscotti.
After a relaxing evening and Christmas Eve celebration at Cradle Mountain we head out for a drive to the natural beauty Dove Lake. Not being the touristy type we boarded the shuttle bus for the short journey there.
Well, can I tell you what a surreal place it is, with Cradle Mountain in the background and blue waters reflected from the sky and accompanied by a quaint little boat shed on the white gravely shore.
It’s a photographer’s paradise and time could be spent there submerged clicking away. On our way out we wanted to see the Tasmanian Devils but being Christmas Day the zoo was closed. So another one back on the list of to-dos when we return to Tasmania.
We then had to pack the bikes and return to Devonport via Burnie, Pinguen and Ulverstone along the north coast of Tasmania. Back in Devonport we set camp for one last time. This concluded our Tasmania holiday and we departed with half of our heart left behind in Tasmania. We will be back.
After an uneventful boat journey back to Melbourne we hit the road for a mad dash to Shepparton for the night.
Next morning in true Covid19 style we hit the road early to get to the Queensland border before the latest lockdown. That saw us crossing the border just after midnight making us feel like criminals in the night.
After very close calls with a number of kangaroos and hitting a few, we safely arrived home in the early morning to kitten cuddles and a stiff whiskey to make up for the nerve wrecking journey we had just endured on the mainland.
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